Historic Hotel Reopens in Selma, Alabama with Investment from Woodforest CEI-Boulos Opportunity Fund

THE WOODLANDS, TX / January 26, 2021 / The Woodforest CEI-Boulos Opportunity Fund, a high-impact commercial real estate Opportunity Zone fund established by Woodforest National Bank® and CEI-Boulos Capital Management, announced its $2 million equity investment in the redevelopment of the historic, long-shuttered St. James Hotel in Selma, Alabama. The St. James Hotel, the only hotel in downtown Selma, will support the city’s growing civil rights tourism industry and help revitalize the local economy, creating 45 permanent jobs with training, health insurance and other benefits (42 of these jobs will be accessible to people with low incomes). The Woodforest CEI-Boulos Opportunity Fund is the only outside investor in the redevelopment project, spearheaded by Birmingham-based Rhaglan Hospitality, which renovated and expanded the iconic St. James Hotel into a boutique 55-key, Hilton™ Tapestry, full-service hotel.

New Recipe Cookbook for Maine Farmed Sea Scallops

December 17, 2020 (Stonington, Maine) – “Farmed sea scallops from Maine.” That has a nice ring to it and now consumers will have some expert culinary guidance on how to prepare these delicious shellfish. Recipe Ideas for Farmed Sea Scallops. The Whole Story is a new cookbook released today co-authored by local fisherman Marsden Brewer and natural history writer Marnie Reed Crowell, both Stonington residents. CEI announced the release of the publication as part of a three-year initiative funded by the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research to further develop scallop farming efforts in the state of Maine.

Thank you, MacKenzie Scott, for the extraordinary gift

Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI) extends its sincere thanks to MacKenzie Scott, who announced an extraordinary $10 million gift to our organization today. We are honored to be included in a stellar group of 384 nonprofits recognized for doing remarkable work, providing vital services, and advocating for and building systems that enable everyone—regardless of where they were born and who they are—to thrive.

CEI’s 2020 Impact: Helping Business Stay Open while Creating or Saving 600+ Jobs

December 2, 2020 – Brunswick, Maine — Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI) today reported its 2020 impact, a look at how its combined economic development tools—financing, business advice, financial coaching, and policy advocacy—helped to keep small businesses, families and local communities strong in the face of unprecedented challenges due to the pandemic and economic downturn.

Portland Restaurants Receive $50,000 in Grant Funding to Help Prepare for Winter During the Pandemic

(Clockwise from top left) 1st photo: Sarah Guerette and Anna Ackerman of the CEI Women’s Business Center; Mary Allen Lindeman co-owner Coffee by Design, Dana Myles, Regional Vice President, Team Leader At Norway Savings Bank. 2nd photo: Amanda O’Brien, owner eighteen twenty wines. 3rd photo. Isaac MacDougal, owner, Cocktail Mary. 4th photo: Dana Myles, Lee Farrington and Bryna Gootkind, co-owners, LB Kitchen, and Sarah Guerette. November 16, 2020 (Brunswick, ME)—Thanks to a collaboration between The Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) of Boston, Norway Savings Bank, Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI) and Community Concepts, business owners impacted by COVID-19 received grant funding to help them survive the winter. The funds were distributed by FHLB Boston to Norway Savings as part of their Jobs for New England (JNE) Recovery Grant Programs. CEI and Community Concepts received $50,000 each to deploy through competitive application processes.

CEI Expands Wicked Fast Loans with Financial Assistance Award from CDFI Fund of the U.S Treasury

September 24, 2020 (Brunswick, ME)—The Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund of the U.S. Treasury today awarded $600,000 in financial assistance to Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI) for its lending and development services for small businesses. Specifically, $500,000 will be used to expand CEI’s Wicked Fast loans and complementary business advice, financial counseling and workforce development in Maine. An additional $100,000 is restricted for lending in federally designated “persistent poverty” areas that have had poverty rates of 20 percent or more for the past 30 years, none of which are located in Maine. To deploy the latter funds, CEI will partner with peer organizations that serve these places. In 2019, 78 percent of the people and places receiving loans or business advice from CEI had low or very low incomes.

The CEI offices remain closed to the public, but we're hard at work! Reach out or click here for a list of COVID-19 Business Resources.